🔼The name Eleazar: Summary
- God Has Helped, Whom God Helps
- From (1) the word אל ('el), God, and (2) the verb עזר (azar), to help.
🔼The name Eleazar in the Bible
The name Eleazar is highly similar to the name Eliezer ( אליעזר) and is assigned to eight different men in the Bible. The two best known Eleazars are:
- The son of Aaron, the father of Phinehas (Exodus 6:23).
- The son of Abinadab, in whose care the men of Kiriath-jearim placed the Ark (1 Samuel 7:1).
Note the striking symmetry between these two Eleazars. The first is a son of the arch-father of all priests, and he and his brother Ithamar form the two main sub-castes of priests in Israel (1 Chronicles 24:4). Their two brothers Nadab and Abihu are executed by the Lord for offering strange fire in front of the tabernacle, which held the Ark of the Covenant (Leviticus 10:1-4). The other Eleazar is a son of the man in whose house the Ark resided after its stay with the Philistines, and his brother Uzzah famously died when he touched the Ark as it threatened to slip off the cart (2 Samuel 6:7).
The lesser known Eleazars are:
- A grandson of Merari (1 Chronicles 23:22).
- One of the most prominent of David's mighty-men (2 Samuel 23:9).
- A priest (Ezra 8:33).
- One among those who divorced their foreign wives during the purge of Ezra (Ezra 10:25).
- A priest present at the dedication of the Jerusalem wall (Nehemiah 12:42).
- The Matthean great-grandfather of Joseph, the husband of Mary the mother of Jesus (spelled Ελεαζαρ; Matthew 1:15).
Also note that the Greek name Lazarus is a Hellenized version of the name Eleazar.
🔼Etymology of the name Eleazar
In names אל ('el) usually refers to אלהים ('elohim), that is Elohim, or God, also known as אלה ('eloah). In English, the words 'God' and 'god' exclusively refer to the deity but in Hebrew the words אל ('l) and אלה ('lh) are far more common and may express approach and negation, acts of wailing and pointing, and may even mean oak or terebinth.
The second part of the name Eleazar comes from the verb עזר (azar) meaning to help, support:
The verb עזר ('azar), means to help or support, and is often used in military contexts, or to describe God's proverbial help. The nouns עזר ('azar) and עזרה ('ezra) both mean help. A much rarer but identically spelled noun עזרה ('azara) means enclosure and comes probably from an other root.
The meaning of the name Eleazar is God Has Helped (NOBSE Study Bible Name List) or Whom God Helps (Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names).